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Mack Brown Press Conference Part I: 2013 State of The Program

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Coach Brown addressed the media on Monday afternoon. Part I of II. As always, many thanks to the people at who make these transcripts available.


From Brown's opening statement.

We had a long discussion after spring practice about what the month leading up to the June workouts would mean. [Assistant head coach/offensive line coach] Stacy Searels and [defensive tackles coach] Bo Davis both wanted more strength and bulk up front, so we had [assistant AD for strength and conditioning] Jeff [Madden] work with them on their strength and bulk through the latter part of April and through the first part of May before they had their discretionary period, and felt like we got a lot of strength. We feel like the guys are going to look good going into summer. Some will still be lifting obviously, but a lot of [training] will be running to include the up-tempo pace that we will have when we start the fall. We thought that's very important.

These are interesting, if seemingly contradictory, sentiments. We're empowering Mad Dog to get our DTs and OL more bulked up - I don't question his credentials there - but we also want to to train the big guys anaerobically so that they can acclimate to up tempo pace?

Bulking up the OL - particularly the interior - marries with what we're trying to do in the Major spread. The first cardinal rule? No quick penetration inside. The easiest way to prevent it? Narrow your splits and develop big heavy anchors who can't be bull-rushed. Downside? Loss of movement in running game. Is that why the pin n pull was scrapped and we'll see a different run mix?

It'll be interesting to see how adding 10-20 pounds across the board marries to sprinting to the ball after each play and pushing tempo. My guess is that our wagon won't set records on Chip Kelly's Oregon Trail.

As for our DT's, I'm not really sure how to interpret this, unless we're committing to playing four or five and telling 'em all to get upfield and give us 35 hard reps a game. Hopefully, it's a targeted approach because some of our DTs don't need more size. They need a coherent scheme.

You're always concerned at the end of a semester where you are academically, and a lot of times it is kind of a barometer of where you're headed. We had an overall GPA for our football team of 2.76, and 20 students with a GPA of 3.50 or better. We had 30 guys with a GPA of 3.25 or better; 46 guys on our team were over a 3.0; 68 over a 2.75 and 82 over a 2.5 [GPA]. So we felt like it was a very rewarding semester academically and usually that tells you a lot about the attitude and the leadership that we developed as they head forward.

Yeah, just put Randa Ryan in charge. We'll be having this conversation again, just as we do every year her APRs destroy the football dedicated academic staff performance.

...Mack then talks about future out of conference scheduling that includes Notre Dame, Cal, USC, and Maryland. Good stuff and I give props to the Athletic Department for stepping up scheduling in terms of both quality and interest.

On recruiting:

So it's a very valuable time, and for what we are trying to do. We had a good recruiting class last year even though it was small. We feel like we are on the verge of a good one this year and maybe a great one next year.

That's straightforward expectations management. Looks like 2014 has not been as kind to us we'd hoped. And I think "good" is our goal. The Aggies have already won more in-state battles this year than in the last 5 years combined. 2015 certainly looks promising, but I still can't fully get my head around offers to sophomores.

Also - if 2015 looks more promising than 2014, how much do you limit 2014 size to maximize 2015 take? Or are we going to increase program churn?

We hired [director of player personnel] Patrick Suddes as the head recruiter from Alabama from a couple months ago, and it's working out really well for us. We have also added [football analyst] Coach Bob Shipley and he will work in a role with high school relations along with [director of high school relations and player development] Ken Rucker. Ken will work primarily with the offense in recruiting, and he will work from that standpoint with our high school clinic and also with our high school camps. Coach Shipley and Ken will basically each take half the state to deal with high school coaches. Coach Shipley will take the other half of the state and they will deal with their own friends regardless of where they are. Coach Shipley will also work on the defensive side of the ball with recruiting and he will also work with our clinic and our camp like Ken. So we have got two very experienced coaches in the state that know the high school coaches, know the landscape and can evaluate that will be helping us.

I thought the Suddes hire was good - but it's basically playing catch-up. I offered my thoughts on Shipley/Rucker type hires some time ago. I'd be looking to fill staff out in these positions with value-adds beyond existing staff competencies. Grooming guys who are hungry, looking to make a name for themselves, and can exert vitality pressure on senior position coaches.

As far as whether we will add any other positions or not, we may. We are still looking at that but we want to make sure that we are adding positions that the coaches and I feel like are very needed, not just add positions.

Let me help you with two suggestions: an analytics guy and a young, sharp, hungry black coach with recruiting chops. Or five.

We are looking at possible position changes. You look at [sophomore CB] Duke Thomas, we will talk about Duke before we leave for the summer. But right now, we feel like that we need him on both sides of the ball.

Sometimes you move a guy around because he's not good enough at either position. Sometimes you do it because he's talented enough to help you in either place, but you need to see how other players develop in order to make the best judgement for the total team. I think Thomas is the latter case. He's a net asset, but his role on offense seems essentially duplicative to what we've already got (nifty, smallish, run-after-catch guy - we have a lot of those running around).

Same with [redshirt freshman QB Jalen] Overstreet. We'll keep him involved with quarterback but he showed flashes in the spring and especially in the spring game where he can really make a difference with the ball in his hands. He's a 4.4 type guy that weighs 215 pounds, so we are going to look at different ways to get him the ball offensively. He'll still stay in tune with quarterback but we also feel like he wants to play and this is a chance to get him on the field. And we have really only three scholarship running backs. We have Daje [Johnson] who can play there and move out, but we think that Jalen is the type of young man that can do some of the same-type things that Daje is doing.

I love Overstreet and he can do a lot of things for us, but I don't think Jalen can really do many of the things that makes Daje so dangerous. I mean, he can run the plays. But I don't think he's housing simple backfield flares after one missed tackle. Further, in a Wildcat situation, he's not a better pure ball carrier than our primary running backs. He has good hands, he's physical, he's athletic, and he'll block his ass off. He's no Daje doppelganger.

[Sophomore WR] Cayleb Jones has rejoined our team. [Sophomore WR] Kendall Sanders and he both will miss the first ballgame. So we feel like that they have gone through a disciplinary action that has not been public, that's in-house. But also our policy with football has been that a young man that gets charged with the law misses a ballgame in the fall.

Jones got off lightly. I hope he outgrows his CB3 act soon because we could really use a threat on the outside with some blocking ability to make this offense go. Sanders after-the-catch is a great asset. But we already have a good bit of that on the roster.

[Senior QB] Case McCoy is on a 10-week mission this summer to Peru. We want to wish him good luck. He's texting back and forth with [co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach] Major [Applewhite] and looks forward to getting back in the fall.

He'll return unprepared with a five foot tapeworm living in his colon. Let me be the first to predict an ayahuasca ceremony with Gary Busey. Gary will hunt Case with bolos astride a war llama and force the issue. The mission means a few things:

1). Ash is your starter - no more funny business possible. If Ash melts down like Mad Dog's New Year's candy resolutions, we either ride it out or put in...Swoopes?!

2). Is McCoy even the 2nd string QB anymore? Probably not.

3). Does McCoy go on this mission if he's projected as the starter? Or told he has a fair shot at winning the gig?

Garrett Greenlea is dealing with some medical issues and he'll take a medical right now and work on those issues. He will help us coach those young offensive linemen as they come in, as well.

That medical should stick. I think we've added another scholarship for 2014/2015.

That's it for Part I. Part II coming soon...